Eli Winderbaum is the Director of Customer Success at BetterCloud where he interacts with dozens of Google Apps administrators daily. Follow Eli on Google+.
Google Apps administrators play an integral role in any organization operating on Google Apps. They have the power to drive a company’s IT strategy, implement that strategy and access a huge amount of company and employee data. So, great admins are not only tech savvy and experienced, but also incredibly trustworthy.
Over the past two years, we’ve interacted with thousands of Apps administrators from the largest Fortune 100 enterprises down to the smallest non-profits, and have come to recognize three qualities every great Google Apps admin possesses.
Google is a forward thinking and innovative company, and these philosophies extend to the Google Apps suite. Great Google Apps admins possess these same qualities, and look for opportunities to strategically deploy Google Apps’ existing capabilities and newly released features to advance the business goals of his or her organization.
Apps admins who stay on top of new features … Read more →
Eight years after its inception, Google Apps stands as a force to be reckoned with. More organizations are migrating away from on-premises legacy systems and trading up to the cloud, spurring Google to invest more energy into the suite every year. In the past few months alone, we’ve seen major upgrades from Google like completely overhauled spreadsheets, a new conferencing system and additional API offerings, which have allowed developers like BetterCloud to provide even more functionality to our customers. Clearly, the suite is evolving and cloud services brokerages and Google Apps resellers have stepped up to the plate to bring Google Apps to organizations around the world.
The ecosystem is complicated, involving many moving parts – Google, partners, third-party vendors and customers – but there is very little data on the growth, challenges, opportunities and success of the ecosystem as a whole. That’s why we’ve made a concerted effort to survey our customers and release statistics surrounding the health and evolution of the Google Apps ecosystem.
… Read more →
As the provider of an enterprise security SaaS application, we know that the IT landscape is changing at an increasingly rapid pace. And, we’ve been hearing more and more from concerned IT administrators who worry about their users installing and using unapproved SaaS products. According to a recent Frost & Sullivan survey produced in conjunction with the Cloud Alliance for Google Apps, nearly two-thirds of end users say they choose and install their own applications in the workplace.
While this so-called shadow IT leaves some IT admins anxious over possible security breaches, another Frost survey put out in November 2013 finds that employees turn to shadow IT simply to gain efficiency (malevolence usually isn’t in play). In fact, the same study notes that IT employees are even likelier to use unapproved SaaS applications than their non-IT counterparts. Clearly, goals and reality are misaligned.
As an IT administrator, the majority of today’s “best practices” tell you to squash … Read more →
Last year, we predicted Google would launch a GoToMeeting competitor in 2014. The company delivered this month with Chromebox for Meetings and we couldn’t be happier!
The system, which combines software and hardware to deliver one seamless web conferencing experience, takes the best of Google Hangouts and Chrome OS, and brings users all-cloud, always-on video meetings.
Here at BetterCloud, we’ve gradually phased out GoToMeeting as much as possible, favoring Hangouts, but sometimes technical aspects like attendee limits and disparate video and audio make Hangouts unwieldy. That’s why we’ve already pre-ordered Chromebox for Meetings for our New York and Atlanta offices. And here are three more reasons why we think the new video-conferencing system should be your next IT investment.
Create a Consistent Environment in the Cloud
Running your organization on Google Apps means your users are living and working in the suite every day – particularly why we’ve tried to transition to Google Hangouts as much as possible. Using Hangouts instead of a … Read more →
This winter, the Cloud Alliance for Google Apps, the only consortium of Google Apps-related independent software vendors, in conjunction with research firm, Frost & Sullivan, released the results of the second bi-annual State of the Google Apps Ecosystem report.
Based on survey answers from 1,158 Google Apps administrators and end-users, the report reveals new information regarding satisfaction with Google Apps, the role third party applications play in the use of the Google Apps suite, a growing willingness by both admins and end-users to spend their own money to purchase third party applications and lastly, the diminishing reliance on Microsoft Office products.
For complete survey results, please visit cloudallianceforgoogleapps.com/report.
Last April BetterCloud’s CEO, David Politis, wrote an article titled Google Apps vs. Office 365: Why Google Will Win the Enterprise. The article detailed the reasons why David is confident Google will win: a generational shift, pricing, timing and differing business models.
A year ago, David argued that differing business models would greatly inhibit the distribution and adoption of Microsoft’s cloud products and recent changes to the company’s partner commission structure, as outlined by CRN, further prove this point.
While promoting cloud products has been a company goal for the last few years, a Microsoft executive notes that so far only a quarter of Microsoft’s 600,000 partners have joined the company’s cloud channel programs and it’s not difficult to see why adoption has lagged. When you take into consideration that on-premise and legacy Microsoft products have been channel partners’ bread and butter for years, you immediately understand why promoting cloud products – essentially cannibalizing existing business – is wholly undesirable to partners.
According … Read more →
2013 was an eventful year for Google Apps. A number of notable organizations moved to Google, including Whirlpool, the U.S. Army and the City of Boston, Google Hangouts were revamped and reintroduced as a unified communications system and, most recently, Google Sheets was rebuilt from the ground up.
Google Apps has certainly seen tremendous growth in terms of adoption and functionality and we expect 2014 to be an even bigger year for the platform. Here are our top 5 predictions for 2014.
1. Drive matures in a major way and more organizations move away from Microsoft Office
Adoption of the cloud is fully underway with many organizations even implementing a cloud-first IT strategy. It’s no longer a question of “if,” but “when” the market reaches 100% cloud adoption. In 2013, a number of huge corporations and government entities moved to Google Apps, showing that the platform is truly capable of handling a wide array of use cases, requirements and security concerns.
… Read more →
The following is a summary of a contributed article, which originally appeared on VentureBeat. Read the full article here.
The cloud offers many benefits, but since 2000 there have been three predominant value propositions.
In the early to mid 2000s, companies moved to the cloud for cost savings. Cloud software was cheaper to implement, upkeep and upgrade. But, as the cloud grew more sophisticated and commonplace, software became commoditized and competing on cost alone was impossible. By the mid 2000s to 2010, allowing users to work from anywhere was the cloud’s most appealing benefit. The rise of smartphones and the prevalence of high speed wireless internet encouraged this trend.
Today, working from anywhere is a given in most companies. The cloud’s value proposition today comes from the ability to integrate multiple disparate SaaS applications either through out of the box connections, custom integrations or with the help of a third-party tool.
For more on the cloud’s changing value proposition, read the full article below.
I’ve promoted cloud … Read more →
In a recent survey released by the Electronic Frontier Foundation of the top technology companies, Microsoft fails to comply with a number of data encryption and security recommendations while Google excels on all fronts.
To ensure data security, the EFF recommends technology companies follow protocols in five areas:
1. Encrypt Websites with Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS)
If HTTPs is implemented, communications between a user’s computer and the given website are encrypted.
Google and Microsoft are both compliant.
2. Enable HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS)
However, to ensure the communication remains secure, companies should enabled HTTP Strict Transport Security or HSTS. HSTS uses secure communications to prevent certain attacks if a network pretends that the site visited has asked to communicate insecurely.
Microsoft is non-compliant.
3. Encrypt Data Center Links
This protocol asks companies to encrypt communications between a company’s own cloud servers and their data centers. This precaution ensures data is protected in the case that an attacker has access to physical data links or … Read more →
The following is a guest post from Lee Ho, Vice President of Marketing at Esna.
In a world full of technological innovations and exciting new ventures, it’s baffling that a revolutionary concept like communication-enabled business process (CEBP) gets so little attention from the business community at large. CEBP seeks to transform standard communication capabilities by integrating those capabilities into the regular flow of business. This integration produces a seamless communication channel, thus increasing efficiency and reducing human latency – pretty much a no brainer when it comes to optimizing most business practices.
So, why then is CEBP still a relatively untapped gold mine of efficiency? While CEBP isn’t a new idea, it’s still working to find its place in the rapidly evolving business landscape – a place we feel it rightfully deserves.
With an end-goal of bringing a continuous, high-quality, real-time communications experience to the table across business segments – customers, suppliers, employees, management – it’s hard to understand why so few businesses have yet to embrace this concept.
The Rise of … Read more →